Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's all about focus..(and that's hard if you're ADD)

"You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to you, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You." Isaiah 26:3 (Amplified Bible)
I have no idea if any person reading this will relate to me, but I have a focus problem. I undoubtedly carry a heaping-helping of the ADD gene, but this particular focal crisis is not about my inability to light my mind in one place. It's about the determination to light my mind in the right place.
Isaiah 26:3 is a verse I turn to over and over when I need to settle my mind on Truth. And do I ever need to settle my mind on Truth. If you are like me at all, your mind can jump from worry and hyper-analysis, to fear or dissatisfaction in less than a heartbeat. When I am not actively meditating on God's word and letting Him fill my mind with Him, I'm a mess. Once I left my eyes fall from the throne of grace, it doesn't take long for me to start looking for something else to satisfy me. I memorized this verse years ago in the NIV, ("You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You,"), but today I came across the Amplified version (above). I assure you that I will be analyzing every single word and phrase in that verse during my quiet times this week. [This is totally a sidebar comment, but I love the way "stayed on You" sounds. It's one of those phrases that just melts my heart...and maybe because my heart longs so badly to be "stayed on" one thing!]
Isaiah chapter 26 is a song of trust in God's protection. It declares that absolute dependance on God is the only way to roll. Isaiah says that the perfect peace we long for comes from completely leaning on (looking at!) the Lord. This passage was part of Isaiah's prophecy that the remnant would return to their land of promise; and when they did - they would wholeheartedly testify that perfect and constant peace is only found in believing God.
So where does the focus issue come into play? Have I just gone on a tangent halfway through this post? No, I really do have a point!
The ancient Israelites had a focus problem! Tracing all the way back to Moses' era, they would no sooner experience one miraculously G0d-given deliverance after another - before they would be throwing in all the gold they had to craft the image of a cow! He gave them everything they needed, but how quickly their minds darted to the worship of something paltry in comparison!
They took their minds off of Yahweh, and turned them to what they could see. Just like me, their gaze became fixed on the tangible; they stared at the circumstances without taking into account the power of the God who Delivered. The God who Delivers. The God who will Deliver.
Those fellow humans of ours made the same mistake over and over and over...for years! Therefore I can only imagine that when Isaiah penned this particular song, he reflected on the power of focus. We know it didn't take long for them to lose sight of the One True God...and as a result, it was snap before they were whining at the consequences. But when they were returned...once they were back in the safety of God's protection, I bet they would tell you with authority that you risk your life (physically in their case; spirtually in ours) when you turn your eyes to another savior.
Given that idolatry can be described as excessive adoration, it's clear that what we focus on drives who we are (in character, in action, in daily life). When our focus is rightly fixed on the One who is worthy of our adoration and our worship, our mind is settled in peace. perfect peace. constant peace.
There used to me a radio commerical about one of those herbal supplements called Focus Factor. I never took it - even though Larry hinted that he wished I would. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have worked, but I'm challenging you to let the Word be your Focus Factor this week. If you commit to even 10 minutes every morning...simply reading one verse over and over...rolling it around...looking at it backwards and forwards....upside down/inside out, your focus will be re-leveled.
And sometimes, a little focal shift is all we need.
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Cat said...

You have a very inspiring blog! Don't know why I haven't visited more often. :) Just subscribed to it. I'm cat, from Constant in Chaos (formerly iBlog). Noticed you were a "follower" and was letting you know about the change. If you still want to follow, you may want to update my new link in your blogger dashboard. You can simply copy and paste my URL ( into your "add new blog" button in your blog manager. thanks and blessings, cat

Anonymous said...

Okay little one... you are UH-DOOR-ABLE!!!! And yes, we have a lot in common :) Thank you for your writing... your transparency... your beauty- inside and out. Thank you for challenging us to direct our focus factor to the one and only Truth. I love you beyond measure...